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gerrym: Track 1449 in area near Collin Top, Antrim Hills (Ireland)
Collin Top_Mid Hill_Carncormick
Length: 18.1km, Creator time taken: 5h58m, Ascent: 478m, Descent: 476m
Places:Start at D18924 17391, end at Start Logged as completed by 1
A fairly demanding walk over expanses of pathless moorland on the largest intact blanket bog in N Ireland added to stunning views and splendid isolation.
Starting point is the industrial setting of the water treatment works of Dungonnell resevoir which has a significant parking area. Short walk up road brings the ramparts of the dam holding back the expanse of the resevoir which was built in 1971. This is stocked with brown trout and the raucous calls of seagulls told me this was public knowledge.
The high road has a number of other parking places as it heads further into the wilds and the 3 hills to be climbed stretch out across the water. Glenariff forest park and an information board detailing the 15.2 km Dungonnell Way soon appear. Views open down into Glenariff and across to Scotland with stunning clarity with a NW breeze.
The road turns and rises and is a cue to drop down the hillside to cross Collin Burn to reach the waterfall at the Inver river. This can be a raging torrent but was a quiet trickle today and most of the riverbed was visible as it was followed upstream past further waterfalls and dark pools. A small wier and pumping station is reached and the roaring waterfalls further ahead tell the tale of water being siphoned off to the resevoir.
The road followed earlier is rejoined here to walk back towards Collin Top, taking to the hillside before the road bends away. Squinting up past a full sun brought 2 circling buzzards into view as the wet ground squelched below - didn't break the gaiters out at all on this walk though. Followed a pretty direct route on ground that wasn't too pretty, only detouring to examine a fenced off area with a stile?
Collin Top has a much drier grassy area with trig point. Views opened up E to the Scottish coastline with I think the Galloway Hills very visible and up to the Paps on Jura. The sharp profiles of Gleanariff and Tievebullagh competed well with higher Trostan and Slievenanee. I could clearly see the summit of Slieve Snaght in Inishowen, the Sperrins pretty much, Lough Neagh, Slieve Gullion and the Mournes!
A gap in the fence shows the way as follow fenceline downhill to pick up the edge of Cleggan Forest which swamps Soarns Hill. The ranks of trees were providing a running commentary on the wind. This is wet stuff as pass 3 firedams and breaks to reach Mid Hill. A rough summit with a few rises (449m beign the highest reading) and expansive views westward. The Lough Neagh basin was framed between Slemish and Carncormick.
Head for lesser top at 438m and descend to the fenceline which traverses the aptly named Red Sea, though a bit of hopping across pools of water was all that was required. A long slog uphill eventually brings the second trig pillar of the day at Carncormick.
This provided some shelter from the NW wind for a welcome lunch. A shower cloud produced a veil through which i could just make out Slieve Donard and the long line of the Mournes to the Cooley Mountains. Closer Cavehill and the other Belfast Hills rose past the distinct shape of Slemish. The headlands of Donegal pushed out to sea where the northern reaches of the Sperrins ended.
Retraced some of walk along fenceline and then struck off on a direct line for the water works. This was again on rough and fairly wet ground until dropped down abit, reaching the waters of Sruhanagruam and a stone boundary wall separating farmland. Luxury walking ensued compared to what had gone before as followed this boundary and enjoyed views across to Trostan. Eventually dropped down to the river flowing out of the resevoir and crossed at the water works (would be tricky with high water) to reach the car.
A day of amazing views in clear cool air allowing me to see west to Donegal and east to Scotland. Only met one other person on the hills, who was also enjoying a great day.
Uploaded on: Sun, 18 Mar 2012 (23:12:37) Trackback: http://mountainviews.ie/track/1449/ To download GPS tracks you must be enrolled and logged in. See "Login or enrol", top right - quick and easy.
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